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Children’s books on history, English and general knowledge for National Non-fiction November

book names

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups (FCBG) are celebrating National Non-Fiction November this month. They’ve worked with bookseller Marilyn Brocklehurst and adult and child FCGB members to compile a leaflet of 100 brilliant non-fiction books for children and young people (PDF).

We have listed a selection of these books you can borrow from Suffolk libraries, covering the topics of history, English and general knowledge. We also have a list of books on the natural world, animals, science and geography.


Marcia Williams - Archie’s war: my scrapbook of the First World War, 1914-1918

Archie’s War gives children an insight into the experience of growing up in the East End of London during World War I. 10-year-old Archie Albright’s scrapbook includes anecdotes, newspaper clippings, letters from his dad and uncle who are fighting in France, and his own war-inspired comic strips.

Steve Noon - A Street Through Time

Find out how the same ordinary street would have looked at 14 different points in history. Double-page illustrations detail the buildings, bridges and churches that have come and gone, materials and tools that were used, and what the people there wore, ate and did. Eras covered include 10,000 BCE, Roman times, and at the height of the Industrial Revolution.

Clive Gifford - Cars, trains, ships & planes: a visual encyclopedia of every vehicle

This book features over 1,000 different vehicles, from the first wheel to the latest hybrids. Young transport enthusiasts can find out fascinating facts about classic cars, motorbikes, sailboats, spaceships and more, and learn about the fastest, largest, longest and costliest vehicles ever.

Adam and Lisa Murphy - Corpse Talk, Season 2

What would famous figures from history say if they could speak? Intrepid interviewer Adam Murphy gets all the astonishing, grizzly, grimy and cool gossip, finding out how a letter put Guy Fawkes on a bonfire, why Queen Elizabeth poisoned her face, what made William the Conquerer explode, and more. We also have the first Corpse Talk book.

Fergus Fleming, Paul Dowswell, Guy Smith and Ian Jackson - Greek Gazette

Greek Gazette presents the trails, tribulations and triumphs of the ancient Greeks in the highly readable format of a tabloid newspaper.

Terry Deary and Martin Brown - Horrible Histories: Savage Stone Age

In typical Horrible Histories style, Savage Stone Age focuses on the less savoury aspects of the era, which appeal to children. Discover what Stone Age people used instead of toilet paper, why a hole in the skull is good for headaches and how to make a Stone Age mummy.

Tony Robinson - The Worst Children’s Jobs in History

The title of this book is self-explanatory, really - Tony Robinson describes the grisly and back-breaking jobs your child might have had to do if they had been born more than a century ago. Undesirable jobs include jigger-turner, turnip-picker, orderly boy, stepper and matchbox maker.

Kate Pankhurst - Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World

Find out about the lives and achievements of Jane Austen, Gertrude Ederle, Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie, Mary Anning, Mary Seacole, Amelia Earhart, Agent Fifi, Sacagawa, Emmeline Pankhurst, Rosa Parks and Anne Frank. Colourful illustrations and fascinating facts make this a very accessible introduction to the work of this varied group of incredible women.

Lisbeth Kaiser and Leire Salaberria - Little People, Big Dreams: Maya Angelou

This book shows how Maya Angelou went from being a traumatised, mute child in Stamps, Arkansas to a singer, actress, civil rights campaigner and iconic writer. It combines prose and illustrations with facts and photos.


Sophie Fatus - My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words]

This book helps your child learn new words by following a bustling family through their busy day, using simple header sentences and bright, detailed illustrations.

Michaël Escoffier and Kris DiGiacomo - Take Away the A: an alphabeast of a book

Take Away the A teaches children to play with words and meanings by taking away just one letter - for example, without the A, the beast is best, and without the W, the witch has an itch. Packed with humour and imagination, it helps consolidate their knowledge of the alphabet.

Anna Claybourne, Timothy Knapman and Adria Meserve - The Comedy, History and Tragedy of William Shakespeare

This award-winning book comprises an illustrated account of Shakespeare’s life and times, summaries of his most famous plays and introduction to well-known characters from his works. A great way to introduce children to The Bard.

General knowledge

Gemma Elwin Harris (ed.) - Big Questions from Little People … answered by some very big people

A variety of well-known people answer 100 real questions from children - for example, Kate Humble explains why lions roar, Heston Blumenthal explains why we cook food, and Alain de Botton explains how dreams are made. Sir David Attenborough, Jacqueline Wilson and Jessica Ennis-Hill are also among the experts who provide their knowledge. There is also an appendix where comedians give silly answers to each of the questions!

Mitchell Symons - Do Igloos Have Loos?

This book answers questions your child wants to know the answer to, and the ones you never know you wanted the answer to: why are slugs so slimy? Why does your skin go wrinkly in the bath? How clever is your right foot? What is the best thing to do if you fall into quicksand? Where is the precise middle of England? And, of course, do igloos have loos?

Fleur Star and Chrissy Barnard - It Can’t Be True! 2

This book covers a huge array of topics, bringing facts to life with cutting-edge visuals. Did you know that it takes 1,308 bees to make a jar of honey, or that the Giant Ghana Snail has a 30cm long shell? We also have the original It Can’t Be True!.

Andy Seed and Scott Garrett - The Silly Book of Side-splitting Stuff

This award-winning book celebrates all things silly in the form of lists, facts, jokes and funny true stories about silly people, silly animals, silly inventions, silly names and more. Discover The Great Stink, the man who ate a bike, a girl really called Lorna Mower and a sofa that can do 101mph.